The International Workingmen's Association, 1872

The Hague Congress

Letter To the Members of the International Working Men's Association

Translated: by Richard Dixon & Alex Miller, for Progress Publishers, 1976.
Transcribed: by June 1996.

Preliminary notes for the report of the Investigation Commission were drawn up by Lucain, Secretary of the Investigation Commission on the Alliance. The report seems to have been left unfinished owning to Lucain's illness and subsequent death in December 1872.

The extant text of the report covers 16 sheets with no text on the back of the pages. They are numbered from 1 to 16. There are several versions of Lucain's signature, Lucain not being his real name.


Nominated by the delegates to the Hague Congress to report to you on the activities of a secret society known as The Alliance, which has been formed within the Association itself, we are today carrying out our assignment.

Much bitter criticism has been levelled against the commission chosen. Several of our friends thought that we abused the vote of confidence by demanding that the Congress should expel from the Association a number of its members without possessing sufficient proof of their having betrayed the proletariat by attempting to divert the Association from its goal; others claimed, in writing, that the commission consisted of biased persons who were the adherents of some kind of clique or other and who sought to disunite all the true defenders of tile rights of citizens and of freedom for the workers. Everywhere, the members of the Society whom we have denounced have expressed their indignation, not hesitating to state in print that the commission, since it lacked the proof necessary to substantiate its assessment, would never publish its report, forgetting, or wanting it to be forgotten, that it was the commission itself which demanded the publication of the report in order to ensure its responsibility.

The members of the commission have refrained from comment. Despising the base and petty accusations which affected men and not principles, they waited for the day when they would be able to publish their report, well aware that when that day arrived, the true members of the International, their only judges, with the proof before them, would make short work of the biased accusations directed at them by the Association's enemies.

That day has come, comrades. If it has taken longer than was expected, it is because we, workers like yourselves have only with difficulty been able to snatch a few hours a week in order to fulfil the mission entrusted to us.

This is the only excuse justifying the delay in publication.

Today, fully confident in the results of your assessment, we place our work at your disposal, and we ask you to ratify in your sections the Congress's vote -- a vote directed against men who were not afraid to divert the Association from its goal by preaching the inequality of citizens and lies; in a word, against men who were forming an autocracy within the proletariat, hiding their aim, which was probably despicable, and trying to achieve this aim of concentrating in their own hands the forces of the workers, in order to use them for their own purposes when it might suit them.

Greetings and Equality,
The commission